Nat’s Daycare ~ A Date?
Word Count: 1967 (go me)
Summary: AU where Baz owns/works in a daycare and Simon has a cute daughter. This has probably been done before, but I like it a lot. :)
DAMN IM PROUD
By the end of the day, my nerves were frayed. Not that it was an extremely stressful day or anything, but the idea of one-on-one time with Simon was playing on my thoughts and making it hard to focus.
“Fee?” I called.
“Yeah, Baz?” She was digging in the closet for god knows what.
“I’ll close up if you want. You can head on home.”
“There are still kids here.”
“I meant once the kids are gone. But Agatha wants to stick around until Simon comes, so you could head off now.”
“What kind of owner would I be if I left before the end of the day?”
“Partner.” I corrected.
Fiona rolled her eyes. “Partner, sorry.”
“Go on home, Fee.”
“Oh, I get it.” Fiona poked my side. “You don’t want me here for when Prince Charming shows up.”
I flushed, but didn’t show that she’d gotten to me. “Prince Charming? That’s a new one. No, put that down, Billy.” I sped-walked over to Billy Jr. to remove a glue stick from his hand and open mouth. “We don’t eat glue.” Billy’s jaw started wobbling and his eyes watering. “Here, love, play with this instead.” I handed him an action figure and he brightened. Parents were trailing in, collecting their kids, and saying thank yous and goodbyes. I didn’t know when Simon was going to arrive, even though he was pretty regular. I was stressing out.
“Fiona, why don’t you head out?” Agatha suggested. “We can hold down the fort.”
Fiona sighed. “Fine. Have fun on your date, Baz.”
“Baz is going on a date?” Trixie scooped little Darcy up, raising an eyebrow at me. Fiona laughed as she slipped out the back.
“I-I…” I swallowed hard. “I’m not, really. Fiona’s just making fun of me.”
“So what are you doing?” Trixie and Keris were one of the centers’ only gay couples. Either she thought I was gay, or was just curious about what I was doing. I worried the former was true.
“I’m having dinner with a friend.” Agatha poked me in the back in passing.
“Well, for your sake and ours, I hope you have a date, and soon.” Keris leaned in conspiratorially, adding in a whisper, “I’d snatch up Simon Salisbury if I were you.” I started, face paling. “Knew it!”
I take a deep breath. “You knew what?”
“You’re gay, right?”
My face burned. “I…yeah.”
“Go for him. Believe me, it’s worth it. Trixie is.” Keris grinned. I smiled back nervously.
“Thanks…I think. Bye bye Darcy.”
“Bye Bazzy.” Under the guidance of Lucy, the rest of the kids had begun calling me Bazzy.
Keris blew a raspberry on Darcy’s cheek and the girl giggled. “Good luck, Baz.” Keris winked at me on her way out.
“Have a nice weekend.”
Agatha came up to me and pinched my side. “What’d she say to make your face go white?”
“Stop pinching my side, Ag.”
“What’d she say?”
“You’re as bad as the kids.”
“Stop changing the subject!”
“Fine. Keris told me to go for Simon. She knows I’m gay. She told me it’s worth it, and good luck.” I said this all in one breath, then moved to clean up after some of the kids. It didn’t spare me from Agatha’s excited squeal. All I saw was white-blonde hair everywhere when she jumped on me for a hug.
“Even the parents want it to happen!” She held me tight for a few seconds.
“Shush, Aggie.” I detached myself from her, brushing stray hairs out of my face.
“Fine, fine. I’m just excited. But…here.” She moved behind me, tugging the elastic out of my hair. She fluffed it out with her hands, combing her fingers through the strands. “Better.”
“Agatha, this is pointless. He’s not gay.”
“Would you shut up? God, Baz, if parents are telling you to go for it, outside of me and Fee, you should go for it. They see it, too. Stop doubting yourself, and him.” Agatha leaned up on her toes to kiss my cheek, something she never did. It was unlike her to be so affectionate.
Anxiety made my hands shake while I drove. My feet wouldn’t lay still, my thumbs tapped on the steering wheel. If Lucy wasn’t still at the center, I would’ve turned around and gone home. Images of Baz flicked through my mind like a slideshow. His smile, his laugh, him kissing the top of Lucy’s head, kneeling next to a crying kid, holding three kids at once and talking to me, still holding those kids and biting absentmindedly on the back of a pen. His cheeks flushing, which happened a lot.
I parked and took a deep breath before forcing myself out of the car. It’s not a date. It’s not a date. It’s not a date. It’s not a date. I pushed the door of the daycare open, forcing a smile that froze on my face when I saw the situation. Baz was staring at Agatha, who leaned up an pressed a kiss on his…cheek? Mouth? I couldn’t tell. Either way, my stomach curdled.
“Daddy!” Lucy jumped up from colouring and ran to me. I lifted her into my arms.
“Hi, baby!” I kissed her cheek, ignoring the sour taste in my mouth. “How was your day?”
“I-it was good. Dawcy and me, we colouwed, and went on the playgwound, and Bazzy made me take a nap, but it’s okay because he’s coming ovew for dinnew, right?” She bounced in my arms. Agatha patted Baz’s arm and stepped away, scooping up the last two kids.
“That’s right, sugar.” I kissed Lucy’s nose, situating her against my hip.
The sight of Simon made my throat go dry. He looked so good. Maybe Agatha was right. Maybe he did like me.
“Hi, Simon.” I offered. My voice cracked. Shit.
He smiled, but it looked sad. “Hi, Baz.”
“Is something wrong?”
Simon’s brow furrowed. “No.”
“I can close up if you want to head out, Baz.” Agatha suggested, bouncing a toddler.
I glanced at Simon, but he was talking to Lucy, their foreheads pressed together. My heart lurched at the sight. Nothing like a cute daughter to tug on the heartstrings. “It’s fine. You go on home.”
Agatha rolled her eyes. “I’ll stay.” We would’ve continued arguing had it not been for two sets of parents arriving. Each gathered their child and said their goodbyes. “Okay, fine. I’ll go. Have a nice evening, Baz. You too, Simon.”
And then there were three. Lucy was content, for once, in Simon’s arms and staring at me. “Ready to go?” I asked.
“Oh, yeah. Don’t you need to lock up?”
“Yeah. I’ll set the alarm in here, close the blinds and check the doors, then lock the front. You can leave if you want.”
“I’ll help. Close the blinds?”
“Sure.” I swallowed hard, exiting to the playground. I locked the gates, cleaned up just a bit, and then went back inside to lock the door. I set the alarm, and we exited the front together. “So, um, how should we do this?”
“What do you mean?”
“I could just follow you in my car, I guess.”
“Oh, that. Yeah, that works for me. You lead the way.” My heart wouldn’t slow down. Simon’s hair was mussed, more so than usual, and it made me want to tug at it and push it back into place. “Where were you thinking for dinner?”
Simon cleared his throat uncomfortably. “I was just thinking we, uh, we go back to my place. You know, in case Lucy needs to go to bed early, or whatever.”
“Sounds great.” I smiled. “Lead the way.” Simon unlocked his minivan and threw open one of the doors. He situated Lucy in her carseat before turning back to me.
“I guess you can just, uh, wait for me to leave.”
“Sure thing.” I went and sat in the driver’s seat of my car, turning it on. It didn’t take long for Simon to start up and back out.
Lucy wouldn’t stop talking. Normally, I would just grin and bear it, sometimes laugh at the absurdities coming out of her mouth. But after watching Agatha kiss Baz, my mood had soured.
“Daddy! Daddy! A-awe you and Bazzy dating?” She bounced in her car seat.
“Baby, stop kicking the chair. And who gave you that idea?” I glanced in the rearview mirror to see that Baz was still behind me.
“Aunt Fiona kept saying it today. Aggie agweed.”
“Aunt Fiona? Who calls her Aunt?”
“Well, sweetie, I think that’s because he’s actually her aunt. Does Fiona mind?”
“No, I asked hew.”
“Anyway, what was this about a date?”
Lucy began bouncing again, this time trying to avoid kicking the passenger’s seat. “Yeah yeah! Aunt Fiona kept saying that you and Bazzy were goin’ on a date, and and Bazzy kept turning red and Dawcy’s mummy Kewis said that he should snatch you up be-because it was wowth it and and…” she trailed off. “And then I got distwacted and I missed the west.”
I smiled. “That’s okay, lovebug.” If they were making fun of Baz, telling him that it was a date, did that mean that Baz liked me? “Anything else exciting happen?”
“I, well, I…” Lucy’s chatter filled the rest of the ride home. My mood had greatly improved since hearing about the teasing that went on.
As it turned out, Simon lived in a nice condo roughly fifteen minutes away from the center, and not far from my own flat. When he got out of the car, Simon grinned at me. As soon as Lucy was unbuckled, she darted out of the car.
“Lucy, wait for us.” Simon stood facing me for a moment. I wasn’t sure if it was my imagination or not, but I could’ve sworn he reached his hand towards me for a moment, then drew it back. “Well, welcome to our home.” Simon rested a hand on Lucy’s shoulder which propelled her forward. He unlocked the front door, letting Lucy bolt by.
“Should I remove my shoes or anything?”
Simon shrugged. “If you want. Lucy, what do you feel like for dinner?” He turned to me. “I’ll make us something different. She’s a surprisingly picky eater.”
“Dino chicken nuggets!” Lucy called from somewhere in the house.
“If I make you those, you have to eat the veggies I put out. Okay?” Silence reigned for a few moments. “I’m taking that as a yes.” Simon rolled his eyes and headed into the condo. “Come on in. A word of advice: I know you spend all day with Lucy, but this is her domain. She’s likely to drag you into some game or scheme.”
Simon’s home was simultaneously exactly what I expected, and nothing like I thought it would be. Simple and modern, yet clearly a home. It was well lived-in, and obviously a child’s house. The first room was a den and kitchen, openly connected. To the left was a hallway, and from this angle I could see two doors, one closed, and an open bathroom door. Lucy was crouched in the den, between a two-person couch and a TV. An armchair was also facing the television. The kitchen looked fairly new, but also well-used.
“I didn’t know you cooked.”
Simon shrugged, closing and locking the door behind me. “WIth a little girl, you kind of have to. I want her to eat healthily.” Simon began pulling pots and pans out of various drawers, pulling ingredients off shelves and out of the fridge. “I was thinking something fairly easy. Some roasted vegetables, rice, a nice sauce. Any diet restrictions?”
“No. Need any help?”
He looked fairly surprised. “Sure. Um, I guess chop some vegetables.”